Why PR pros must address the big, white elephant in the room

White PR people in power need to participate more actively in systemic change for racial equality. For clients and organizations to thrive, everyone must have the tough conversations.

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In the post-2000 modern era, the most significant and urgent moment of cultural change for racial equality is reflected in the passionate public outcry to the murder of George Floyd. The weight of this moment can even be seen in the overwhelmingly strong reactions outside the United States.

This moment has gone global—and rightly so.

As the public relations profession faces this moment of shock and somber reflection it is a time for unflinching introspection. PR is falling short as a profession if it fails to live up to its logical role to address the societal outcry with a focus on solutions.

After all, it is our profession that is supposed to craft positive, constructive strategies alongside communications that create measurable outcomes. It is our profession that is supposed to influence sound, informed, proactive management decision-making at macro and systemic levels.

It is our profession that is supposed to apply an ethical lens to every management message. (And is there any greater issue of ethics than systemic discriminatory murder in society?)

It is our profession that is supposed to consider and account for the interests of the public good in all that we do on behalf of our organizations and our management teams.

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